1590s, "explode;" 1690s "cause to explode;" from blow (v.1) + up (adv.). From 1670s as "inflate, puff up." Figurative sense "lose one's temper" is from 1871.
As a noun, it is recorded from 1809 in the sense "outburst, quarrel;" 1807 as "an explosion." Meaning "enlargement from a photograph" is attested by 1945 (the verbal phrase in this sense is by 1930). Old English had an adjective upablawan "upblown," used of a volcano, etc.
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